Kettlebell training originated in Russia and became popular in the United States in the early 21st century. The kettlebell is a cast iron weight, ranging from 5 pounds (2.3 kg) to more than 100 pounds (45.4 kg), with a grip handle. It is held in one or both hands and is swung or pulled to assist with endurance, balance, strength and agility. Many people enjoy this type of workout because it incorporates full-body movement that sometimes is missing from other types of weight exercises. There are several types of kettlebell classes, including beginner, intermediate and advanced classes, with the intensity of the workout varying from class to class.
The basic idea behind kettlebell workouts involves swings, presses and pulls, often done by switching the kettlebell between the hands. These movements typically require leg and hip movements, and they can be difficult for beginners. Beginning kettlebell classes focus on introductory movements to help individuals increase endurance and build strength. Beginner classes usually start with lower weights and teach students the basic kettlebell swings and lifts. Sometimes these classes are done in bootcamp style, which means they demand high endurance and emphasize flexibility, building muscles and working out the entire body.
When students have learned the basics, they often move on to intermediate kettlebell classes. These courses aim to perfect lifting form and often use heavier weights than in beginner classes. Some of the more challenging skills taught in intermediate classed include lifts with more resistance and height, as well as increased range of motion. Many of these classes combine the use of the kettlebell with other forms of weightlifting movements.
Advanced kettlebell classes usually include teacher training courses and certification. They teach students how to instruct others, variations of lifts and how this type of exercise specifically works the different muscle groups. These classes spend time on theory and anatomy in addition to providing a workout. Students learn how to use the kettlebell to target specific fitness goals and how to incorporate the kettlebell into other forms of exercise training.
This type of workout can be tough on the joints and muscles, but there are many benefits of taking kettlebell classes. They often are time efficient and simple, because individuals are able to incorporate cardio, balance and strength training into one workout session. Many people report improved coordination, posture and alignment from them, along with increased bone density and muscle mass. Kettlebell training also can help to prevent athletic injuries because the slow movements trains the body in eccentric deceleration.